Monday, January 4, 2010

Thank You, Jon Scieszka!

Today is Jon Scieszka's last day as our first ever National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. How incredible that such a position exists. And how incredible that they chose Jon Scieszka, the absolute perfect man for the job!

When I sat down to write this post, I went to Jon Scieszka's website to see a list of his many books. I was amazed to see how many of them I had experienced personally:

For me, first there was MATH CURSE. What a wonderfully funny math book! I used to have my third graders solve some of these very silly problems as a very motivating math lesson.

Then there was the TIME WARP TRIO series. These chapter books are hilarious! And so motivating for the reluctant readers I worked with in my private practice!

And then there was TRUCKTOWN. Oh how my three-year-old loves TRUCKTOWN! He loves all the characters, was thrilled when a book in this series came in our Cheerios box and chose to give his cousin two books from the series as his Chanukah present.

On top of all that, I found some books that I loved personally. Knowing my love for children's literature and writing, our local librarian recommended I read Scieszka's memoir, KNUCKLEHEAD: TALL TALES AND ALMOST TRUE STORIES OF GROWING UP SCIESZKA. Such fun! Read it if you can!

And the other day I found Scieszka's awesome introduction to the world of modern art, SEEN ART?. My kids are still way too young for it, but I couldn't resist getting a copy for the future (and for me to enjoy write now!).

Sorry if I've rambled into lots of mini book blurbs here, but I haven't covered half of Jon Scieszka's books. And his influence has gone far beyond the books he has written. It has extended into his efforts to motivate boys to read with his wonderful website, "Guys Read" and, of course, all his amazing efforts to connect kids and books during his year as ambassador.

Wow! Talk about inspiring! Talk about making a difference as a children's writer!

Thank you, Jon Scieszka!

P.S. Check out links to a lot of other great Scieszka thank yous here at A YEAR OF READING, the awesome bloggers who came up with this idea.


  1. Oh my goodness! You took me down memory lane with your post. :)
    Seen Art is one of my top favorite of all times. I also have fond memories of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. I still laugh at the twist, just thinking about it. :)

    I look forward to Katherine Paterson's advocacy as well. :)

  2. Jon Scieszka leaves behind big shoes for for the next Ambassador to fill, but Katherine Paterson can do it!

  3. Jon Scieszka was one of the first children's writers to make me fall in love with writing for children. One sniff of the Stinky Cheese Man and I was hooked!

  4. Hi Guys,

    Nathalie-- That's exactly what it felt like to me-- a happy trip down memory lane!

    Meg-- Definitely big shoes to fill! And Katherine Paterson seems like such a perfect person to do it. (So many of her books have influenced me as a reader!)

    J.A.-- Yep! He really shows you how much fun writing for children can be, doesn't he?

  5. The True Story of The Three Little Pigs is one of my favorite picture books! My son (now 14) and I used to read it over and over again. So clever. LOVE HIS BOOKS!

  6. When The True Story of the Three Little Pigs came out, I was an elementary school media specialist.

    The hit of story time in second and third grade that year was my reading the book with a thuggish, underworld accent. Fun!

  7. Robin & Gale-- How could I have left out The True Story of the Three Little Pigs?!?!? What an incredible picture boo!

    Mary Lee-- Thanks soooo much for organizing the party!